Economy

NNPC introduces 24-hour filling station operations in Abuja – here’s why

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) started its week with the introduction of 24-hour operation for over 40 ppl filling stations in Abuja as part of efforts to ensure the disappearance of fuel queues.

The development which ensured round-the-clock operations of these selected filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) saw the officials of the NNPC Ltd embark on several unannounced visits.

In one of such unannounced visits in the wee hours, within the week, officials of the company, led by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Malam Garba Muhammad noticed a much-improved situation, with much of the queues vanished.

At the Airport Road branch of the A. A. Rano Filling Station which has over 60 pumps, only two motorists were found filling their car tanks while majority of the fuel attendants in other filling stations were waiting for customers.

A motorist who identified himself as Jika Wakili said the efforts by the NNPC authorities to restore normalcy to the fuel situation were highly commendable.

Wakili urged the management of the company to sustain the tempo and ensure the situation gets even better across other locations in the country.

“The situation is easing now and we are happy with the efforts of the NNPC Management.

“This shows that the leadership of the organisation is working very hard to resolve this issue.

“They should not rest on their oars please,” Wakili added.

Other motorists spoke on the improved fuel situation.
Also in the week, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva called on the United States (U.S.) Government to provide funding support for Nigeria to develop its natural gas resources to serve as alternative source of energy for Europe.

Speaking at a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, on the side-line of the just concluded CERA Week in Houston Texas, Sylva said the collaboration between the U.S. and Nigeria in this area would be of immense benefits to both countries as well as the entire globe.

According to Sylva “It is in the interests of the global community that there is alternative supply of gas to Europe.

“The challenge for us to achieve this feat has been lack of infrastructure and we need funding to develop infrastructure for our gas and we believe that the U.S. can provide that funding”.

He told Granholm that Nigeria had abundance of natural gas resources that can meet European gas demands, noting that the problem has been access to funding.

He said as part of efforts to boost gas supplies across the African continent, the country had embarked on the construction of 600 kilometers of the Ajaokuta- Kaduna- Kano (AKK) gas pipeline designed to take gas to Europe via North Africa.

The minister therefore called on the U.S. to provide the needed funding for infrastructure for the exploitation of the huge natural gas in Nigeria.

Speaking on the burning issue of global energy transition, Sylva said for the energy transition programme to be meaningful, the peculiar problems of Africa must be factored into the entire energy transition arrangement.

In her remarks, Granholm expressed the readiness of the U.S. to cooperate with Nigeria to develop her renewable energy sector noting that her government was not against the development of gas or other sources of energy.

She said the U.S. government would be willing to support Nigeria in developing her renewable energy sources and therefore called for a coordinated strategy to pin down specific areas of focus where funding and other supports would be required.

“Investors are interested in funding renewable energy in Nigeria but they are interested in knowing possible areas of focus. We have to work out a structured way to access the fund,” Granholm said.

Sylva who was in an earlier meeting with the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Harry Karman, expressed Nigeria’s willingness to develop the different sources of renewable energy such as wind, solar and hydrogen.

In a related development, the Federal Government said its inability to meet the oil production quota allocated to Nigeria by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was due to the lack of investments in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

It said the lack of investments was due to the recent spate of exits by International Oil Companies (IOCs) such as Shell and ExxonMobil from Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Speaking at the just concluded CERA Week in Houston, Texas, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the speed with which IOCs were withdrawing investments in hydrocarbon exploitation had contributed significantly to Nigeria’s inability to meet its OPEC target.

Nigeria’s OPEC quota is pegged at about 1.8 million barrels per day but the country produces between 1.3 and 1.4 million barrels per day.

“Lack of investments in the oil and gas sector contributed to Nigeria’s inability to meet OPEC quota. We are not able to get the needed investments to develop the sector and that affected us.”

Sylva also cited security challenges as another major factor that contributed to the lack of significant growth of the sector, adding that the drive towards renewable energy by climate enthusiasts had discouraged funding for the industry.

The minister, however, called for a change of attitude stressing that in decades to come hydrocarbon would continue to play a central role in meeting the energy needs of the world.

He told delegates at the event that though Nigeria was in full support of energy transition, the country and the African continent should be allowed to develop at its own pace.

This, he said would enable African countries meet the energy needs of the over 600 million people who had no access to any form of power in Africa.

In keeping with its philosophy of touching the lives of citizens in positive ways, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has donated state-of-the-art building complexes to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and Bayero University Kano (BUK) to serve as Centre for Inland Basin Studies and Civil Engineering Department respectively at both institutions.

The projects which were inaugurated and handed over to the management of both schools recently are part of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

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